Chelsea defender Cesar Azplicueta feels Arsenal were aided by controversial decisions from referee Anthony Taylor in Saturday’s FA Cup defeat to the Gunners. The Blues lead at Wembley thanks to Christian Pulisic’s early goal but Arsenal completed the comeback with a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang double, the first of which was from a penalty Azilicueta conceded. Chelsea lost Azpilicueta to injury in the first half, Pulisic early in the second half and after Mateo Kovacic was controversially sent off, it became an uphill battle for Frank Lampard’s men.
Cesar Azplicueta said “A lot of times there were 50/50s (that went in Arsenal’s favour) and we had the same in 2017 but we have to look further than this, We have to look at ourselves. We know two weeks ago when we played against Man United, we really controlled it. We played our game, we were on top of them against a very good side but today we couldn’t do it for 90 minutes and, in the end, that makes the difference. It’s painful and a tough one to take. Obviously when you lose a final, it’s always painful. We started the game well and scored an early goal which normally gives a confidence to build on but we didn’t capitalise on it. We dropped our level a little bit and we were punished. When you score an early goal, you have control of the game. We had a couple of chances after that to make it 2-0. It’s a final and we knew that we were playing against a side that have good attacking players and they can be dangerous. After this, we couldn’t get into our game as we wished. It’s my first time that it’s happened and it hurts a lot when that happens in a final like today,’ Sometimes it’s football and it’s life but it’s hard to take. Now we have to learn from the game, even if you always want to learn when you win and when you lift trophies rather than by losing these kind of games. It’s tough but we have the next challenges that we have to be ready for.”
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